Innovation

Energy efficiency is at the heart of smart city management

Feb 17, 2020 | 42 views

The planet's energy capacity does not grow at the same rate as electricity demands. In this scenario, governments have already realized that they need to find opportunities to reduce consumption and continue to meet demand, or we will soon see an imbalance hitherto unimaginable, seriously affecting the global economy and the population. It is a fact: energy efficiency needs to be at the center of managing smart cities.

In addition to the well-known environmental reasons and the risks of a shortage of supply, electricity is a constant concern because it represents a significant expense for public coffers. Using technology as an ally for efficient use and cost reduction is the way to transform the way municipalities manage the resource. Several solutions are already available allowing the creation of a digitalized management infrastructure and bringing numerous benefits, such as the reduction of expenses with public lighting.

The union of energy managers with Analytics already helps in the quick identification of threats, optimization of strategies and automation of processes. Meters installed in different electrical circuits are capable of providing a huge variety of information about each one, with details of consumption, identification of irregularities and possible failures in equipment responsible for the incorrect use of electricity. Using technology, it is possible to create improvement and maintenance plans quickly, and automate commands, such as the disconnection of electrical circuits at certain times.

In South America, we have some cases of energy efficiency that are successful in lighting cities and controlling the functioning of posts, signs and security cameras. It is estimated that a control system can generate 50% energy savings for the city, in addition to significantly reducing CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.

An increasingly important issue for public administration, electricity needs to be the basis of a smart city. From the safest public roads when most lit up to public hospitals that depend on electricity to guarantee service to the population, this resource is essential for citizens to be able to meet their most basic needs.

The debate about energy resources and the correct use of electricity intensifies each year and the future is very encouraging. We can already clearly see the Brazilian public authorities aware of the importance of the topic and the benefits to society and to the public coffers through more intelligent and responsible management. Allied to this understanding, new technologies appear to guide this evolution.

Still, we can say that there is a lack of adequate investments in these technologies. This step is essential to continue the inevitable process of changing energy management. But it is always important to remember: digitalized city does not mean smart city. It is necessary to combine technologies with adequate studies and plans, in addition to well-established goals, to make municipalities more intelligent.

The process is long and requires practical changes, with a new mindset focused on changing the way the city sees energy use. This new way of thinking needs to go hand in hand with technological advances to ensure that the benefits reach everyone: from people, to governments and to the environment.